Advocate for child rights

Representing children that can't be heard is something Akane Sandom has always wanted to do—a Bachelor of Law and Arts was the obvious choice.

Akane is in her third year of studying towards a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts with a Development Studies major.

Driven to help children

Akane’s passion for child rights led her to Victoria University of Wellington.

“I thought Development Studies would be useful for learning about countries where children don’t have the best situations. And Wellington is the only university in New Zealand that offers development studies at an undergraduate level.”

The light bulb moment

Akane’s light bulb moment was when she realised law wasn’t just about learning facts but something that can make a real and practical difference in people’s everyday lives.

“I want to represent children who don’t normally have access to legal representation. With my degree I’d like to work to ensure that children have their wellbeing protected in all situations. It’s a really primal feeling that links me quite strongly to my studies."

Running on mental strength

"If you had asked me a few years ago if I would be running, I would definitely have said ‘not in a million years’. I used to hate cross-country at school. But I think my study’s given me a greater understanding of myself—I know that I can push myself. And I think that really applies to running, because running’s a mental game.”

Japan, rumours and radiation

Through the University, former UNICEF youth ambassador Akane was selected by the Japanese Government to visit Japan.

“We went to Japan for nine days to see the consequences that rumours of radiation had on their economy and culture. It was really quite emotional as we met a lot of people whose lives were directly affected.”

Friendly competition

“The students at the University—particularly in the Faculty of Law—are driven and also a bit competitive, but in a good way. I think it’s really a great environment to be in when you are pushing yourself, and you see people who are pushing themselves as well.

"But, they also know when to take a break, and play hard as well as working hard.”

Know Your Mind

“I thought I knew what I was capable of doing, but since starting at university I think my abilities and my limits have grown so greatly that I’m still figuring out how much I know my mind.”

See other students talk about their University experience and what Know Your Mind means to them.